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Proof of nonexistence of free will

 
 
Arjuna
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 05:23 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

What I meant is that this speculative scenarios with 0% chance of becoming actualities are nevertheless the product of Reality itself...they are a sort of enriching scenario to give a sense of freedom from a within perspective to any entity that is aware. They are something like a cast shadow of an actual happening fact...a projection of what could have been given any alteration on the panorama...As logically conceivable they are Real and integrate the abstract corpus of Reality...
Sounds like you're saying that illusion is a side-effect of subjectivity, a natural result of a limited perspective?

Basically what I'm asking about is this: back up to what you actually know. There is experience. There is meaning. Analyze the requirements for meaning.

On the issue of the whole, one naturally looks at it like a bucket of raspberries. You can't have an infinite number of berries in the bucket. Not unless the berries are creating a dynamo...

I'm struggling, but imagine that Meaning is doing exactly that. By separating what is fundamentally united, an open-endedness exists. You can proceed from there to labeling Meaning as an illusion maker. But what can you say that isn't governed by its principles? Whatever that might be, you can't conceive it.

You can't conceive of the Whole as a finite set because every particular event is understood relative to set of alternate possibilities. Possibility implies that there is potential to become actual. That's how the set of possibilities becomes open-ended. We start with a handful of possibilities and they spawn. Their offspring spawn, and we can't imagine an end to it. What I'm saying is that it might be wrong that alternate possibilites exist in any way, but look what happens to Meaning if we delete them from consideration. It's no longer possible to conceive of a particular event.

All you can do is drop back and note what Meaning requires. You're stuck with a bucket containing a raspberry dynamo. You can't logically consider the beginning or ending of Now. You can't logically call Now finite. It's meaningless to say it's infinite. There's only one other choice on the menu: Meaning requires that Now is a hybrid of the two.

I'm also being driven by intuition that stems from considering what happens to meaning if possibility and the actuality are the same thing... which came to me from considering the voltage across battery terminals if the resistance between them is infinite. That's how I realized that it must be true: there's no such thing as potential energy as something independent from an actual event. It is a trick of the mind. We're analyzing the event and separating the potential out. It's the result of intuition that the actuality contains the rest of the universe within it. In other words, I know you're right. Maybe I'm spinning my wheels, but there's some reason for it. So obviously I know who's foolish here. I appreciate being able to bounce the spinning off you. Thanks! [/quote]
Sentience
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 06:21 pm
I believe that free will exists similarly to how Quantum Physics exists, if indeed, it does.

While on the surface level, we can observe causality, if you get deep into the atomic level you may be able to observe that some things are simply random (that or we cannot see the deciding variables.)

In the same way, while on a conscious level you have the power of decision, the human brain is a computer and in the end their is only one possible computed outcome. My best demonstration for this would be from Death and What Comes Next, a cool piece of writing by Terry Pratchett.
Quote:
THIS IS A CONUNDRUM CERTAINLY, said Death. Once they prayed, he thought. Mind you, he'd never been sure that prayer worked, either. He thought for a while. AND I SHALL ANSWER IT IN THIS MANNER, he added. YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE?

"What?"

THE LADY WHO HAS BEEN LOOKING AFTER YOU. YOU LOVE HER?

"Yes. Of course."

CAN YOU THINK OF ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE, WITHOUT YOUR PERSONAL HISTORY CHANGING IN ANY WAY YOU WOULD AT THIS MOMENT PICK UP A KNIFE AND STAB HER? said Death. FOR EXAMPLE?

"Certainly not!"


It is simply impossible, without changing the prior data it's received to affect the outcome, for the brain to allow one to do something it would not have otherwise done.


However, the illusion is good enough for me.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 06:59 pm
@Sentience,
Yea, you can't do something that's outside the bounds of meaning. Meaning requires form just like this sentence does. My will to speak binds me to those rules.

The image of a totally unbound will is an image of meaninglessness.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 11:41 pm
@Arjuna,
OK, riding the madness of the endeavour, given the advanced hour here in Portugal, and without to many constrains (or revisions) I will speak my guts on this right straightforward...

The following has the advantage of simulating the occurrence of a local phenomena in what in fact is a Universal panorama, bringing what is at rest and dead to the appearance of a living dynamic system !
Yes... given any object, variable, bit, or whatever we want to call it, meaning is local relation, coming from the Universal as phenomena, and yet, an a priori attribute in the thing itself as nomena, translating its nature origin in the Totality, its inseparability...its ENTANGLEMENT !
A priori once it has the potential to become what it must, what it is already as archetype...a multitude of things, a Meta-object, that locally when a posteriori objectify´s in a given space time frame, simulates the establishment of an algorithm with any other thing, to them all, as if it was communicating from within itself the specific relational effect of the Wholeness presence at that vector which makes it to be that specific meaning to that particular thing, in such context, therefore to be that function...( a number string would do as means of information...) On the receptor side the same process would go on...
...for this, every Object would have, as many function strings, as many bits there are, locally for the where and now, and indirectly, concerning the future, within the primal event horizon, when everything was together...

Nevertheless the question remains is that number finite or infinite ?

...If it is case to say that what was bound cannot be unbound, one still does have to wonder, but just where does the bound leads !...

Best Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE

0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 02:06 pm
Meaning induces one to think in signifier´s, symbols, and conversion of information...to think on direction, on goal, and necessarily on need...
The actuality on meaning might be understood in several way´s, the more common having to do with its pragmatical functionality, in which meaning is what is necessary to me from a given number of possibility´s, or on the potential that something has to offer...but meaning can be also resistance to difference and search for identity...
Meaning as Truth stands in meaning as relation, encounter, or reunion...
Meaning as the function of awareness !
0 Replies
 
Retoxx
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 02:29 pm
Maybe I am missing somthing within the confines of this discussion, but is not every choice influcened by an outside force? Thus, if all choices are influenced, either by nature or nuture, then the idea of free will is false.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 05:36 pm
@Retoxx,
Retoxx wrote:

Maybe I am missing somthing within the confines of this discussion, but is not every choice influcened by an outside force? Thus, if all choices are influenced, either by nature or nuture, then the idea of free will is false.


"Outside" is an really odd word...I guess there´s allot of odd words this day´s running loose in the wilderness...maybe we collect to many ! Mr. Green

But you were saying outside...outside of what ?

(I think force is enough for what you meant)
...then of course, force is a redundancy for being, which is a much lighter less invasive way of saying the same...
0 Replies
 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 06:49 pm
@Retoxx,
Retoxx wrote:

Maybe I am missing somthing within the confines of this discussion, but is not every choice influcened by an outside force? Thus, if all choices are influenced, either by nature or nuture, then the idea of free will is false.
An attempt to trace the situation:

Will, as we have inherited the idea is a source of action. We oberve that events involve motion. An event is an arc, like a section of a circle, that starts with unexpressed potential. The potential is expressed through the event. At the end of the event, the potential is exhausted. The actuality is its manifestation. At the point that the potential is completely exhausted, so the coin rests on the floor, the event is now in the past. The present is an event arc. We're always in the middle, somewhere between the beginning and ending of the expression of the potential. The present event arc is meaningful... therefore consciousness exists.

The nature of meaning can be pictured in the meaning of music. At any point, the actuality is being correlated to previous and succeeding events. This is efficient and final cause... awareness of an overall structure to the music. A specific point in the performance has identity. Which means that some notes are played, others aren't. Rationally the identity of a sound is as much dependent on what notes are played as which aren't. If every key on the piano was played simultaneously, all the sounds would converge. It would be meaningless beyond the recognition of sound.

Back to old-school physics: every event requires some medium. For instance, if we drop a coin... the medium could be air, water, molasses, or vaccuum. The medium gives some resistance to the expression of the potential. The resistance in the medium will shape the event in terms of speed. The same basic model can be used to assess any event. The correlation between the potential and its expression is: potential energy = kinetic energy x resistance.

Will refers to the origin of the potential. An old perspective is that in the universe was created by God's will. Initially, God's will was the only will.

Subsequently, a split developed in the one Will. The first sign of human will was resistance to the will of God. The myth says that this first emergence was rooted in a more primal resistance known as the Devil. Thus human will has always been linked to human error... as the Romans put it: resistance to nature. This resistance to nature, though a source of suffering and disease, has also been prized by humans... a kind of fundamental contradiction. An image that appears in various forms in Western Civilization is a person who chooses to be good. It's a "have your cake and eat it too" sort of image that signifies somehow being equal to God and separate at the same time. Philosophers who think about that image differ on whether it's possible. The ones who say it is possible hint at some secret knowledge, but otherwise don't make a whole lot of sense.

One way of looking at it is this: the separation is an illusion. The primal potential of the universe is not divided. Humans can not "own" a piece of it such that they could be said to will an event. The question this perspective generates is: why do humans "know" that they do will events? And is it possible to go beyond saying that to understanding it?

It could be that humans are locked into illusion. There are various good reasons to say that we are. That, of course, leads us to wonder at the nature of such a realization. It could be compared, as Descartes did, to noticing how completely we "know" the events in a dream are real (while we're dreaming), but then upon awakening, we "know" that they weren't real. So this idea that we're continually framing events in meaning in a way that is logically inconsistent suggests some kind of awakening out life itself.

Which is great. Sounds like the domain of a mystic, though. What are the chances that a determinist would own that title? Still working on it... as I'm still working on Mr. Albuquerque's last statement. Thanks!


0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 07:25 pm
@Retoxx,
Retoxx wrote:

Maybe I am missing somthing within the confines of this discussion, but is not every choice influcened by an outside force? Thus, if all choices are influenced, either by nature or nuture, then the idea of free will is false.


Why would it follow that because I was influenced by something, that I did not act freely? Suppose that I was influence to read War and Peace by a friend who told me he had read it an enjoyed it. So, I go ahead an read it myself. How does it follow that I did not read War and Peace of my own free will? What makes you think that the mere fact that I was influenced to do something by the suggestion of my friend implies that I did not do that thing of my own free will? That's the question for you to answer.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 08:32 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Why would it follow that because I was influenced by something, that I did not act freely? Suppose that I was influence to read War and Peace by a friend who told me he had read it an enjoyed it. So, I go ahead an read it myself. How does it follow that I did not read War and Peace of my own free will? What makes you think that the mere fact that I was influenced to do something by the suggestion of my friend implies that I did not do that thing of my own free will? That's the question for you to answer.
One assumes that you did will yourself to read it. Volition is one of the main ingredients of animal life.

Your body is made of many different kinds of cells. Only one moves of its own volition: macrophages... big white blobby cells that eat invaders. What exactly tells us that the macrophage owns the source of its movement? Is it something we observe?

We can't ask the blob to explain its choices. It doesn't know what a choice is. It doesn't have a brain.
0 Replies
 
rado
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 09:01 am
@litewave,
litewave wrote:

Quote:
so if there's no free will, is everything predetermined?

No, uncaused events are part of nature.


If they are uncaused then they might happen or not. What determines if they do or don't?



0 Replies
 
rado
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 09:09 am
Q: Can it be said in justification of one’s past that whatever has happened in one’s life had to happen?

A:. Obviously, what has happened had to happen; it would not have been, if it had not been intended. Even the mistakes that we have committed and the adversities that fell upon us had to be, because there was some necessity in them, some utility for our lives.

But in truth these things cannot be explained mentally and should not be. For all that happened was necessary, not for any mental reason, but to lead us to something beyond what the mind imagines. But is there any need to explain after all? The whole universe explains everything at every moment and a particular thing happens because the whole universe is what it is.

But this does not mean that we are bound over to a blind acquiescence in Nature’s inexorable law. You can accept the past as a settled fact and perceive the necessity in it, and still you can use the experience it gave you to build up the power consciously to guide and shape your present and your future.


Q: Is the time also of an occurrence arranged in the Divine Plan of things?

A: All depends upon the plane from which one sees and speaks. There is a plane of divine consciousness in which all is known absolutely, and the whole plan of things foreseen and predetermined.

That way of seeing lives in the highest reaches of the Supramental; it is the Supreme’s own vision. But when we do not possess that consciousness, it is useless to speak in terms that hold good only in that region and are not our present effective way of seeing things.

For at a lower level of consciousness nothing is realised or fixed beforehand; all is in the process of making. Here there are no settled facts, there is only the play of possibilities; out of the clash of possibilities is realised the thing that has to happen.

On this plane we can choose and select; we can refuse one possibility and accept another; we can follow one path, turn away from another. And that we can do, even though what is actually happening may have been foreseen and predetermined in a higher plane.

The Supreme Consciousness knows everything beforehand, because everything is realised there in her eternity. But for the sake of her play and in order to carry out actually on the physical plane what is foreordained in her own supreme self, she moves here upon earth as if she did not know the whole story; she works as if it was a new and untried thread that she was weaving.

It is this apparent forgetfulness of her own foreknowledge in the higher consciousness that gives to the individual in the active life of the world his sense of freedom and independence and initiative. These things in him are her pragmatic tools or devices, and it is through this machinery that the movements and issues planned and foreseen elsewhere are realised here.

It may help you to understand if you take the example of an actor. An actor knows the whole part he has to play; he has in his mind the exact sequence of what is to happen on the stage. But when he is on the stage, he has to appear as if he did not know anything; he has to feel and act as if he were experiencing all these things for the first time, as if it was an entirely new world with all its chance events and surprises that was unrolling before his eyes.


Q: Is there then no real freedom? Is everything absolutely determined, even your freedom, and is fatalism the highest secret?

A: Freedom and fatality, liberty and determinism are truths that obtain on different levels of consciousness. It is ignorance that makes the mind put the two on the same level and pit one against the other.

Consciousness is not a single uniform reality, it is complex; it is not something like a flat plain, it is multidimensional. On the highest height is the Supreme and in the lowest depth is matter; and there is an infinite gradation of levels of consciousness between this lowest depth and the highest height.

In the plane of matter and on the level of the ordinary consciousness you are bound hand and foot. A slave to the mechanism of Nature, you are tied to the chain of Karma, and there, in that chain, whatever happens is rigorously the consequence of what has been done before. There is an illusion of independent movement, but in fact you repeat what all others do, you echo Nature’s world-movements, you revolve helplessly on the crushing wheel of her cosmic machine.

But it need not be so. You can shift your place if you will; instead of being below, crushed in the machinery or moved like a puppet, you can rise and look from above and by changing your consciousness you can even get hold of some handle to move apparently inevitable circumstances and change fixed conditions.

Once you draw yourself up out of the whirlpool and stand high above, you see you are free. Free from all compulsions, not only you are no longer a passive instrument, but you become an active agent. You are not only not bound by the consequences of your action, but you can even change the consequences. Once you see the play of forces, once you raise yourself to a plane of consciousness where lie the origins of forces and identify yourself with these dynamic sources, you belong no longer to what is moved but to that which moves.

This precisely is the aim of Yoga, - to get out of the cycle of Karma into a divine movement. By Yoga you leave the mechanical round of Nature in which you are an ignorant slave, a helpless and miserable tool, and rise into another plane where you become a conscious participant and a dynamic agent in the working out of a Higher Destiny.

This movement of the consciousness follows a double line. First of all there is an ascension; you raise yourself out of the level of material consciousness into superior ranges. But this ascension of the lower into the higher calls a descent of the higher into the lower. When you rise above the earth, you bring down too upon earth something of the above, - some light, some power that transforms or tends to transform its old nature. And then these things that were distinct, disconnected and disparate from each other -the higher in you and the lower, the inner and the outer strata of your being and consciousness - meet and are slowly joined together and gradually they fuse into one truth, one harmony.

It is in this way that what are called miracles happen. The world is made up of innumerable planes of consciousness and each has its own distinct laws; the laws of one plane do not hold good for another. A miracle is nothing but a sudden descent, a bursting forth of another consciousness and its powers -most often it is the powers of the vital - into this plane of matter. There is a precipitation, upon the material mechanism, of the mechanism of a higher plane. It is as though a lightning flash tore through the cloud of our ordinary consciousness and poured into it other forces, other movements and sequences.

The result we call a miracle, because we see a sudden alteration, an abrupt interference with the natural laws of our own ordinary range, but the reason and order of it we do not know or see, because the source of the miracle lies in another plane.

Such incursions of the worlds beyond into our world of matter are not very uncommon, they are even a constant phenomenon, and if we have eyes and know how to observe we can see miracles in abundance. Especially must they be constant among those who are endeavouring to bring down the higher reaches into the earth-consciousness below.


Q: Has creation a definite aim? Is there something like a final end to which it is moving?

A: No, the universe is a movement that is eternally unrolling itself. There is nothing which you can fix upon as the end and one aim. But for the sake of action we have to section the movement, which is itself unending, and to say that this or that is the goal, for in action we need something upon which we can fix our aim.

In a picture you need a definite scheme of composition and colour; you have to set a limit, to put the whole thing within a fixed framework; but the limit is illusory, the frame is a mere convention. There is a constant continuation of the picture that stretches beyond any particular frame, and each continuation can be drawn in the same conditions in an unending series of frames. Our aim is this or that, we say, but we know that it is only the beginning of another aim beyond it, and that in its turn leads to yet another; the series develop always and never stop.

The Mother, "Questions and Answers 1929-1931"
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 09:55 am
@rado,
Thanks rado! This goes well with what I've thought. Just as the Nazis at the Nuremberg Trial said they were soldiers, so they were following orders... we play a certain role which is like a robot following a structured program.

Yet as the Nazis said this, we knew that the previous war had ended in a mutiny. Soldiers follow commands. A human can choose to animate the role of soldier, or choose another role. Where do we go when we withdraw from a certain role? Some call it the realm of spirit. It's a place of freedom, but it's also impotent. In order to act, some role is required. In order to speak one must surrender to the structure of language.

Perhaps the intuition of owning Will is a matter of identification with the one motive force of the universe. It comes out garbled because the intuition takes place in the context of a single subjective experience. That single subject is then understood objectively... where the 'I' becomes just one object among many. When my real experience is not being one of many, but being the center of it all.

The intuition that there are no choices again comes from identification with something grander. It's the primal viewpoint on the One. It makes no sense that there could be such a viewpoint. This viewpoint is obviously the foundation of consciousness, though. Cogito ergo sum.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 10:42 am
@rado,
rado wrote:

Q: Can it be said in justification of one’s past that whatever has happened in one’s life had to happen?

A:. Obviously, what has happened had to happen; it would not have been, if it had not been intended. Even the mistakes that we have committed and the adversities that fell upon us had to be, because there was some necessity in them, some utility for our lives.




But it is not even true that what has happened had to happen. Much less is it obvious! It happened that Obama was elected president of the United States, but unless you think that the election was fixed, it did not have to happen. For John McCain might have been elected president. I think you are making a common confusion: The confusion is between:

1. Necessarily if Event E happened, then Event E happened, and,
2. If Event E happened, then Event E necessarily happened.

1 and 2 say very different things. You can see that simply by noting wither the term "necessarily" is located in each of the sentences. Now, 1 is true. But 2 is false. And not only are 1 and 2 not equivalent sentences, but since 1 is true, and 2 is false, 2 does not follow from 1, since it is an elementary truth of logic, that a false statement cannot follow from a true statement.

The confusion between 1 and 2 is a very common confusion, and is often made on this forum. In fact the confusion, and the inference from 1 to 2 has a name. It is called, "the modal fallacy". So not only is it false that what will happen must happen, but it is false that what did happen had to have happened. And, in fact, both of those false statements are expressions of what is known as fatalism. Which is also, clearly false. For both its expressions, as I have just shown, are false.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 12:04 am
Hi Ken... I sometimes wonder if you don´t think for an instant that the fatality of the modal fallacy is to repeat itself endlessly... Mr. Green

Hi Arjuna and Rado indulge me to this one remark...

Not even the ONE can escape its Destiny...(especially him/it...)
Given...What is ONE cannot be other.
(...the ascension is to come down...we are the ascension !...)

Best Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 04:47 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Hi Ken... I sometimes wonder if you don´t think for an instant that the fatality of the modal fallacy is to repeat itself endlessly... Mr. Green

Hi Arjuna and Rado indulge me to this one remark...

Not even the ONE can escape its Destiny...(especially him/it...)
Given...What is ONE cannot be other.
(...the ascension is to come down...we are the ascension !...)

Best Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE


As long as the fallacy is committed with such regularity, and as long as its commission is the source of so much confusion, it cannot be pointed out and shown to be fallacious often enough. But when no one commits the fallacy anymore, we can stop pointing it out. In this respect, it is like all other fallacies. The difference, of course, is that it is so often committed, and it causes so much confusion.
0 Replies
 
pskwirz671
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 01:03 pm
@litewave,
I am thinking of two actions, act A and act B. Prior to acting I feel as if I am equally capable choosing to perform either act. I can picture myself performing each act in my mind, and I can plan all the steps involved in performing such an act. This is the feeling of free will. Even if I posit that A & B are my only two choices, I feel that it isn't inevitable that I will choose A b/c I might choose B, and it isn't inevitable that I will choose B b/c I might choose A. If I choose A, it doesn't prevent me from feeling that I could have chosen B, b/c I can remember that in the past I felt fully capable of doing so. I'll never be able to get in my time-machine and prove conclusively that I could have chosen B, but I have no reason to distrust the way I felt at the time.
pskwirz671
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 01:30 pm
@kennethamy,
"If Event E happened, then Event E necessarily happened"

While the sentence is not necessarily true like the sentence [If E happened, then E happened], it is not illogical or necessarily false either. The only propositon needed to make it true is "all things that happen necessarily happen". The only way to prove or disprove this proposition would be to travel back in time and see if you could prevent E from happening.
pskwirz671
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 01:41 pm
@litewave,
Also, the idea that any act not precipitated by reasons is "unintentional" is probably wrong. I could imagine walking down a path, seeing a stone, and intentionally kicking it. The kick is certainly intentional, but I don't have any articulate reason for kickin' it.
pskwirz671
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 02:11 pm
@fresco,
Even Kuhn held that paradigms need to be overthrown if they become logically inconsistent or incapable of explaining phenomena. For example, your belief in the absence of God has is functional in defining yourself, but if God floated down on a white cloud or whatever, and stood in front of your face, the functional significance of contrary beliefs don't mean squat.
So to if litewave can succeed in proving that free will is logical inconsistent w/ our social paradigms OR if he can prove that it leads to incorrect explanation of phenomena (not that he has succeeded in doing either of these things) then he would be capable of proving the non-existence of free will
 

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